Tag Archives: Richard Dawkins

February 20, 2014 Richard Dawkins and the ability to feel pain By Paul Stark

“With respect to those meanings of ‘human’ that are relevant to the morality of abortion, any fetus is less human than an adult pig.” – A tweet from Richard Dawkins, echoing philosopher Peter Singer, who has made the same comparison.

Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR

Richard Dawkins and the ability to feel pain

By Paul Stark

Richard Dawkins

“With respect to those meanings of ‘human’ that are relevant to the morality of abortion, any fetus is less human than an adult pig.” – A tweet from Richard Dawkins, echoing philosopher Peter Singer, who has made the same comparison.

(Dawkins is probably the world’s most famous, or infamous, proponent of atheism, but a belief in atheism need not entail the pro-choice position on the ethics of abortion that Dawkins holds. Indeed, that position is contravened by science and reason accessible to people of any or no faith, independent of any religious teaching or texts. (See here.)

A clarification must be made regarding Dawkins’ use of the term “human.” It can be used in a biological sense to mean a living human organism—a member of the species Homo sapiens—and in that sense the fetus, from the beginning of his or her existence at conception, is a full-fledged human being, like you and me only at an earlier developmental stage, while the pig is not and never will be. But Dawkins uses “human” in a different sense to refer to certain characteristically-human qualities that he considers morally relevant with respect to how a being ought to be treated—qualities that may not be possessed by all human beings (those who have yet to acquire them, or who have lost them, are excluded from serious moral regard) and that may be possessed by some non-human animals (such as pigs).

Dawkins went on to further discuss abortion and clarify his position. He considers the ability to experience pain the decisive factor: Only beings who can feel pain deserve the sort of moral respect that would preclude killing them. Only when an unborn child is developed enough to feel pain is abortion (presumably) morally impermissible.

But this position does not seem defensible. Surely we may not kill people as long as we do so in a painless fashion. So it must be, as Dawkins puts it, the ability to feel pain that counts. But what about people who are under anesthesia or temporarily comatose? What about people with the condition called congenital insensitivity to pain? They cannot experience pain. Do they not still have a right to life? Imagine a person whose brain has been surgically altered to prevent the experience of pain. Are these people not still people?

Even normal, adult human beings who can suffer pain have that ability in varying degrees. Does that mean that our moral worth, our right not to be killed, is also a matter of degree? Are some people more valuable than others? Philosopher Christopher Kaczor writes:

“The kung fu master can put his arms around a burning cauldron, endure the searing of flesh, and carry the weighty object. The proverbial princess cannot stand the pea under her multiple mattresses. Many men cannot bear the least discomfort, and many women endure childbirth without anesthetic. Certain injuries and diseases greatly hinder the human capacity for pain, as do drugs of various kinds, as do differences in degrees of concentration and experience. … Our experiences of pains and pleasures are conditioned by our prior experiences, beliefs, and habits. Since no two human persons have the same experiences, beliefs, and habits, no two human persons have equal capacities for pleasure and pain, and therefore human persons do not have equal rights” [if rights depends on the ability to feel pain, which Kaczor rejects].

This is not to say that pain and suffering are morally irrelevant—clearly they matter a great deal. But it is just as clear that the ability to experience pain is not a necessary criterion for having a right to life or for deserving the kind of moral respect that precludes killing for socio-economic reasons. Nor can the ability to experience pain serve as the basis for equal dignity and rights.

Dawkins will have to rethink his position. (In the meantime, he can at least support current legislation in the United States to stop the dismemberment and killing of unborn children developed enough to feel pain.)

Editor’s note. Mr. Stark is Communications Associate for MCCL, NRLC’s state affiliate. This first appeared at prolifemn.blogspot.com.

Dr. Francis Schaeffer: Whatever Happened to the Human Race Episode 1 ABORTION

Published on Jan 10, 2015

Whatever Happened to the Human Race?
Abortion
Dr. Francis Schaeffer

Dr. Francis schaeffer – The flow of Materialism(from Part 4 of Whatever happened to human race?)

Dr. Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical flow of Truth & History (intro)

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Antony Flew tells what the book THERE IS A GOD is all about (Ricky Gervais talks about atheim on Piers Morgan Tonight)

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The Bible and Science (Part 01)

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Antony Flew tells what the book THERE IS A GOD: “How the world’s most notorious atheist changed his mind” is all about in the first part of the introduction from the book:

Ever since the announcement of my “conversion” to
deism, I have been asked on numerous occasions to pro-
vide an account of the factors that led me to change my
mind. In a few subsequent articles and in the new intro-
duction to the 2005 edition of my God and Philosophy, I
drew attention to recent works relevant to the ongoing dis-
cussion on God, but I did not elaborate further on my own
views. I have now been persuaded to present here what
might be called my last will and testament. In brief, as the
title says, I now believe there is a God!
The subtitle, “How the World’s Most Notorious Athe-
ist Changed His Mind,” was not my own invention. But it
is one I am happy to employ, for the invention and employ-
ment of apt yet arresting titles is for Flews something of a
family tradition. My theologian father once edited a col-
lection of essays by himself and some of his former stu-
dents and gave to this polemic paperback the paradoxical
and yet wholly appropriate and properly informative title
The Catholicity of Protestantism.In the matter of form of
presentation, if not of substantive doctrine, following his
example, I have in my time published papers with such
titles as “Do-gooders Doing No Good?” and “Is Pascal’s
Wager the Only Safe Bet?”
At the outset I should make one thing clear. When
reports of my change of mind were spread by the media
and the ubiquitous Internet, some commentators were
quick to claim that my advanced age had something to
do with my “conversion.” It has been said that fear concen-
trates the mind powerfully, and these critics had con-
cluded that expectations of an impending entrance into
the afterlife had triggered a deathbed conversion. Clearly
these people were familiar with neither my writings on
the nonexistence of an afterlife nor with my current views
on the topic. For over fifty years I have not simply denied
the existence of God, but also the existence of an afterlife.
My Gifford Lectures published as The Logic of Mortality
represent the culmination of this process of thought. This
is one area in which I have not changed my mind. Absent
special revelation, a possibility that is well represented
in this book by N. T. Wright’s contribution, I do not
think of myself “surviving” death. For the record, then, I
want to lay to rest all those rumors that have me placing
Pascalian bets.
I should point out, moreover, that this is not the first
time I “changed my mind” on a fundamental issue. Among
other things, readers who are familiar with my vigorous
defense of free markets may be surprised to learn that I
was once a Marxist (for details, see the second chapter of
this book). In addition, over two decades ago I retracted my
earlier view that all human choices are determined entirely
by physical causes.
Since this is a book about why I changed my mind
about the existence of God, an obvious question would
be what I believed before the “change” and why. The first
three chapters seek to answer this question, and the last
seven chapters describe my discovery of the Divine. In the
preparation of the last seven chapters, I was greatly helped
by discussions with Professor Richard Swinburne and Pro-
fessor Brian Leftow, the former and current occupants of
the Nolloth Chair at Oxford.
There are two appendices to the book. The first is an
analysis of the so-called new atheism of Richard Dawkins
and others by Roy Abraham Varghese. The second is an
open-ended dialogue on a topic of great interest to most
religious believers—the issue of whether there is any kind
of divine revelation in human history, with specific attention
to the claims made about Jesus of Nazareth. In the inter-
est of furthering the dialogue, the New Testament scholar
N.T. Wright, who is the present bishop of Durham, kindly
provided his assessment of the body of historical fact that
underlies Christian theists’ faith in Christ. In fact, I have to
say here that Bishop Wright presents by far the best case for
accepting Christian belief that I have ever seen.

Making Sense of Faith and Science

Uploaded on May 16, 2008

Dr. H. Fritz Schaefer confronts the assertion that one cannot believe in God and be a credible scientist. He explains that the theistic world view of Bacon, Kepler, Pascal, Boyle, Newton, Faraday and Maxwell was instrumental in the rise of modern science itself. Presented as part of the Let There be Light series. Series: Let There Be Light [5/2003] [Humanities] [Show ID: 7338]

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Discussion (1 of 3): Antony Flew, N.T. Wright, and Gary Habermas

Uploaded on Sep 22, 2010

A discussion with Antony Flew, N.T. Wright, and Gary Habermas. This was held at Westminster Chapel March, 2008

Is Goodness Without God is Good Enough? William Lane Craig vs. Paul Kurtz

Published on Jul 29, 2013

Date: October 24, 2001
Location: Franklin & Marshall College

Christian debater: William Lane Craig
Atheist/secular humanist debater: Paul Kurtz

For William Lane Craig: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/
For Paul Kurtz: http://paulkurtz.net/
To purchase this debate: http://apps.biola.edu/apologetics-sto…
To purchase a published version of this debate:http://apps.biola.edu/apologetics-sto…

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Antony Flew – World’s Most Famous Atheist Accepts Existence of God

Uploaded on Nov 28, 2008

Has Science Discovered God?

A half-century ago, in 1955, Professor Antony Flew set the agenda for modern atheism with his Theology and Falsification, a paper presented in a debate with C.S. Lewis. This work became the most widely reprinted philosophical publication of the last 50 years. Over the decades, he published more than 30 books attacking belief in God and debated a wide range of religious believers.

Then, in a 2004 Summit at New York University, Professor Flew announced that the discoveries of modern science have led him to the conclusion that the universe is indeed the creation of infinite Intelligence.

For More Info Visit:
http://ScienceFindsGod.com

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Richard Dawkins vs William Lane Craig – Full Debate –

Antony Flew on God and Atheism

Published on Feb 11, 2013

Lee Strobel interviews philosopher and scholar Antony Flew on his conversion from atheism to deism. Much of it has to do with intelligent design. Flew was considered one of the most influential and important thinker for atheism during his time before his death (he’s a much better thinker than Richard Dawkins too – even when he was an atheist). His conversion to God-belief has caused an uproar among atheists. They have done all they can to lessen the impact of his famous conversion by shamelessly suggesting he’s too old, senile and mentally deranged to understand logic and science anymore.

News on Antony Flew’s conversion:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1e4FU…

Interview and discussion with Antony Flew:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53REH…

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Did Antony Flew actually leave atheism or was it a hoax?

In There is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind”, the British philosophyprofessor, late Antony Flew, shared his reasons for converting from atheism to deism.

“We must follow the argument wherever it leads”, a principle that Plato attributed to Socrates, was the norm to which Flew followed (Flew 2007: 46).  With increasing evidences of the teleological argument, Flew had to change his position.

“I must say again that the journey to my discovery of the Divine”, explained Flew, “has thus far been a pilgrimage of reason.”(Flew 2007: 155). He further expounded,

Science qua science cannot furnish an argument for God’s existence. But the three items of evidence we have considered in this volume the laws of nature, life with its teleological organization, and the existence of the universe can only be explained in the light of an Intelligence that explains both its own existence and that of the world. Such a discovery of the Divine does not come through experiments and equations, but through an understanding of the structures they unveil and map.

Flew pointed out that even though “[s]ome have said that the laws of nature are simply accidental results of the way the universe cooled after the big bang”, Martin Rees showed that there are “laws governing the ensemble of universes”. He explained,

Again, even the evolution of the laws of nature and changes to the constants follow certain laws. “We’re still left with the question of how these ‘deeper’ laws originated. No matter how far you push back the properties of the universe as somehow ‘emergent,’ their very emergence has to follow certain prior laws.”[ Rees 2000: 87]

“So multiverse or not,” argued Flew, “we still have to come to terms with the origin of the laws of nature. And the only viable explanation here is the divine Mind.”(ibid 120-121)

Richard Dawkins was and is not pleased with Flew’s U-turned position. In The God Delusion, Dawkins asserted that “[o]ne can’t help wondering whether Flew realizes that he is being used”(Dawkins 2006: 82). In  a recent Playboy interview, Dawkin explained,

What’s rather wicked is when religious apologists exploit that, as they did in the case of Flew, who in his old age was persuaded to put his name to a book saying that he’d been converted to a form of deism. Not only did he not write the book, he didn’t even read it.

According to Dawkins, Flew changed from atheism to deism because “he went gaga”.  It is sad that Dawkins keep giving false account of Flew conversion knowing that Flew had already responded to the same Dawkinian’s charges in June 4th 2008 letter. Flew wrote,

I have rebutted these criticisms in the following statement: “My name is on the book and it represents exactly my opinions. I would not have a book issued in my name that I do not 100 per cent agree with. I needed someone to do the actual writing because I’m 84 and that was Roy Varghese’s role. The idea that someone manipulated me because I’m old is exactly wrong. I may be old but it is hard to manipulate me. That is my book and it represents my thinking.”

Flew also answered Dawkins’ The God Delusion’s notes’ assertion of his position in a great length. He admitted that Dawkins’ The God Delusion was “remarkable in the first place for having achieved some sort of record by selling over a million copies”. He further wrote,

But what is much more remarkable than that economic achievement is that the contents or rather lack of contents of this book show Dawkins himself to have become what he and his fellow secularists typically believe to be an impossibility: namely, a secularist bigot.

Turning to page 82 of The God Delusion’s footnote, Flew answered Dawkins “remarkable note” of his decision to convert from atheism to deism.  Flew explained that Dawkins caricature of his decision does not say much about Flew but about Dawkins himself. Flew wrote,

For if he had had any interest in the truth of the matter of which he was making so much he would surely have brought himself to write me a letter of enquiry. (When I received a torrent of enquiries after an account of my conversion to Deism had been published in the quarterly of the Royal Institute of Philosophy I managed, I believe, eventually to reply to every letter.)

For Flew, this indicated that Dawkins was “not interested in the truth as such but is primarily concerned to discredit an ideological opponent by any available means”. Flew suspected that Dawkins’ did not set to “discover and spread knowledge of the existence or non-existence of God” in The God Delusion, but to spread his own convictions.

Bibliography

Dawkins, Richard (2006) The God Delusion. Bantam Press

Flew, Antony (2007) There is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind. HarperOne

Rees, Martin (2000) Exploring Our Universe and Others”, The Frontiers of Space. New York: Scientific American.

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Antony Flew rightly noted that Richard Dawkins’ “monkey theorem was a load of rubbish”

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___________ ________ Antony Flew – World’s Most Famous Atheist Accepts Existence of God Uploaded on Nov 28, 2008 Has Science Discovered God? A half-century ago, in 1955, Professor Antony Flew set the agenda for modern atheism with his Theology and Falsification, a paper presented in a debate with C.S. Lewis. This work became the most […]

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Review of Antony Flew Book: THERE IS A GOD Article by R.C. Sproul May 2008

Discussion (2 of 3): Antony Flew, N.T. Wright, and Gary Habermas ______________ Atheist Lawrence Krauss loses debate to wiser Christian Published on Sep 13, 2013 http://www.reasonablefaith.org More of this here The Bible and Science (Part 02) The Kalam Cosmological Argument (Scientific Evidence) (Henry Schaefer, PhD) Published on Jun 11, 2012 Scientist Dr. Henry “Fritz” Schaefer gives a lecture […]

The finest article on Antony Flew’s long path from Atheism to Theism!!


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 This is the finest article yet I have read that traces Antony Flew’s long path from atheism to theism.

Among the world’s atheists there was hardly any with the intellectual stature of Anthony Flew.  He was a contemporary with C.S. Lewis and has been a thorn in the side of theists for more than fifty years.  Quite frankly Anthony Flew’s intellectual stature far transcends the squawking and loud atheists of today like Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett, Richard Dawkins, Lewis Wolpert, Victor Stenger or Sam Harris.  These men couldn’t stand in the same room with Flew in true rigorous discussion.  I will have more on these loud mouths later, but I want to explore the recent book by Anthony Flew entitled There is A God (the A written over a scratched over NO).

First I wish to celebrate the intellect of Anthony Flew because it is to be admired for what path He put himself on that lead to God.   In his youth he adhered to the Socratic philosophy of “following the evidence wherever it leads.”  This is a powerful idea that most atheists would say that they adhere to, but actually fall far short on.  Many just follow the evidence to a pre-decided point and no further.

Anthony Flew was probably one of the most original thinkers in modern times in theological thinking or perhaps a-theological thinking.  In “Theology and Falsification”, God and Philosophy and The Presumption of Atheism he raised the question of how religious statements can make meaningful claims.  He claimed that no discussion of the concept of God can begin until the coherence of the concept of an omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent spirit had been established.  In The Presumption of Atheism he argued that the burden of proof rests with theism and the atheism is the default position.  It was this reorientation of the frames of reference that eventually changed the whole nature of discussion.  This changed discussion eventually also lead to a revitalized theism as well.

His Youth

Son of a Methodist minister he traveled to Germany, as a child, prior to WWII.  He remembers the banners and signs outside villages proclaiming “Jews not wanted here”.  He saw the march of thousands of brown shirts in Bavaria and saw squads of Waffen-SS in the black uniforms with the skull and crossbones.  This was the face of evil and powerfully spoke to him that such evil seemed to preclude an all loving and all powerful God.

Always an avid reader and with no predilection to anything religious the young Flew read science and philosophy and gradually drew away from his religious upbringing.  He tried to hide it from His parents, but after service in the War in 1946 the word got out to his parents that he had become an atheist.   A brilliant young man, Flew, attended Oxford University in 1942 and graduated with his undergraduate degree in the summer of 1947.  He passed with top honors and arranged to pursue post graduate work in philosophy and metaphysical philosophy.  During his time at Oxford Flew joined the Socratic Club at Oxford which was headed by C.S. Lewis.  He and Lewis locked horns more than once in this club and the Socratic principle of going where the evidence leads became even more important and had a surprising impact in Flew’s a theological thought that even set the stage for his future theism.

What Makes an Atheist?

I wish to inject a truth here about the cause of atheism in our culture and especially in our church culture.  Flew is a bit unusual in his atheism direction, but we can see how the church still failed him in this though he never points out that truth.  He steps all around that truth saying that the church and religion held no interest for him and that very statement holds a profound truth.  In the preface of the book is a statement from Katharine Tait, Bertrand Russell’s daughter, from her book My Father, Bertrand Russell.  She indicated that her father would not even talk to her about religion or Christianity, which Katharine had accepted.  She said: “I could not even talk to him about religion.” Page XX.  She states later: “I would have liked to convince my father that I had found what he had been looking for, the ineffable something he had longed for all his life.  I would have liked to persuade him that the search for God does not have to be in vain.  But it was hopeless.  He had known too many blind Christians, bleak moralists who sucked the joy from life and persecuted their opponents; he would never have been able to see the truth they were hiding.” Page XXI

This is a stunning truth that I have seen in my personal debates with atheists and that I have seen in writings of some atheists.  It is that Christians in a mistaken legalistic, judgmental attitude have more to do with engendering and creating atheism than perhaps the secular humanism and the other faith killing philosophies.  Many atheists are atheists because of some encounter with a Christian somewhere that hammered the life out of them and hid the glory of a Lord who loved them.  We need to look at ourselves and become the person Jesus wants the world to really see.

Anthony Flew’s Early Impact

Flew’s first target in his incisive logic was not theology, but rather an atheistic philosophy called logical positivism.  Logical positivism was introduced by a European group called the Vienna Circle and was popularized by A. J. Ayer in his 1936 book Language, Truth and Logic.  Logical Positivists believed any statement that was truly meaningful were statements that could be only verified through the sense experience or were true simply by their form and the meaning of the words used.  This meant that a statement was only meaningful if it could be verified as true or false by empirical observations or science.   This resulted in only statements that were true or verified were statements used in science, logic or mathematics.

Anthony Flow considered his paper Theology and Falsification to be the final argument that sealed the fate of logical positivism.   In 1990 Flew stated:

“As an undergraduate I had become increasingly frustrated and exasperated by philosophical debates which always seemed to revert to, and never to move forward from, the logical positivism most brilliantly expounded in . . . Language, Truth and Logic. . . The intentions in both these papers (the versions of “Theology and Falsification” first presented in the Socratic Club and then published in University) was the same.  Instead of an arrogant announcement that everything which any believer might choose to say it to be ruled out of consideration a priori as allegedly constituting a violation of the supposedly sacrosanct verification principle – here curiously maintained as a secular revelation – I preferred to offer a more restrained challenge.  Let the believers speak for themselves, individually and severally.”  Page XIV

I will have to say that Flew’s thinking that logical positivism was utterly defeated is a little premature as the “New Atheism” has brought forth the logical positivism redux in all its illogical and arrogant glory.  Even A. J. Ayers has long abandoned logical positivism as anything worth a philosophical breath.  But is appears the new atheists have revived this errant philosophy to use in their tomes of unreason and illogic.

50 Years an Atheist

I would have to say that Anthony Flew, while a thorn in the side of Theology, with his impeccable and incisive logic and honorable ways was actually a worthy opponent as well.  His life was spent in many and varied places and his academic career spanned the continents.  The list of academic organizations at which Flew was a professor is simply astounding.  First was the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, he then became professor of philosophy at the University College of North Staffordshire.  Later he joined the philosophy department of the University of Keele and then moved to the University of Calgary in Alberta Canada.  He joined the University of Reading until the end of 1982, took an early retirement and taught at York University of Toronto.  Half way through that assignment he resigned and joined Bowling Green State University to be a part of the Social Philosophy and Policy Center for the next three years.  Three years later he retired and lives today in Reading.  It was a very long and distinguished career.

Following the Evidence

As I mentioned before the Socratic principle of following the evidence where it leads was a guiding principle of Anthony Flew and to his credit this principle lead him into many changes.  In 1966 Flew published God and Philosophy where he attempted to present a case for Christian theism where he challenged the theists to come up with a better idea.  Since that time many theists have done just that and in “following the evidence” Flew also changed his views.  He later stated: “What do I think about today about the arguments laid out in God and Philosophy?  In a 2004 letter toPhilosophy Now, I observed that I now consider God and Philosophy to be a historic relic (but of course, one cannot follow the evidence where it leads without giving others the chance to show you new perspectives you had not fully considered).” Page 52

Flew first looked at the concept of free will and determinism as propounded by Hume as the free will defense had often been put forth with the atheist “problem of evil” argument.  He tried to maintain a position that even though man could have a will that appeared free, he believed that the free choices were physically caused.  He called this system a compatibilism and later rejected this view by examining the idea of Hume’s causes.  Hume failed to properly understand the freedom of an independent person to make a choice that was not physically dependent on anything else.  Flew defined three notions of identity, one is being an agent, two is having a choice and three is being able to do something other than what we actually do.  This necessitated a distinction between the ideas of movings and motions that can explain the equally fundamental concept of action.  He states: “The nerve of the distinction between the movings involved in an action and the motions that constitute necessitated behavior is that the latter behavior is physically necessitated, whereas the sense, the direction, and the character of actions as such are that, as a matter of logic, they necessarily cannot be physically necessitated (and as a matter of brute face, they are not).  It therefore becomes impossible to maintain the doctrine of universal physically necessitating determinism, the doctrine that says all movement in the universe – including every human bodily movement, the movings as well as motions – area determined by physically necessitating physical causes.” Page 64 – 65   Flew viewed this philosophical change as just as radical as any change he made on the question of God.

Flew was one of the heavy hitters in the atheist world and in 2004 he made the change from atheism to theism, that rocked that world profoundly.  It was not a sudden change, but as presented above, a piece by piece revamping of Flew’s philosophy as he followed the evidence.

Flew had been in many debates with theists over the years and some proved to be profound in his later change.  Terry Miethe of the Oxford presented a “formidable version of the cosmological argument” in a debate with Flew.

Some limited, changing being(s) exist

The present existence of every limited, changing being is caused by another.

There cannot be an infinite regress of caused of being,

Because an infinite regress of finite beings would

Not cause the existence of anything.

Therefore, there is a first Cause of the present existence of these beings.

The first cause must be infinite, necessary eternal and one

The first uncaused Cause is identical with the God of the Judeo – Christian tradition.  Page 70 – 71

This argument by Miethe was based not on the principle of sufficient reason as most cosmological arguments of this type were, but upon the principle of existential causality.  Flew rejected this argument but it later came to him again in the idea of design in the universe and nature.

In 2004 Flew came to the last of his long line of public debates in a symposium at New York University.  In this debate about science and theology Flew, to the surprise of all announced that he had now accepted the existence of God.  This announcement has caused no small stir among those in the atheist world and those in the theist camp as well.  Many, harsh and strong statements have risen especially from those aforementioned loud mouthed, new atheists.  I will not go into these comments now, but suffice it to say they show no tolerance they so famously shout for their own ideas.

Finding the Divine

Anthony Flew in the above debate made the following statement when asked if the “recent work on the origin of life pointed to the activity of a creative Intelligence . . .

“Yes, I now think it does . . . almost entirely because of DNA investigations.  What I think the DNA material has done is that it has shown, by the almost unbelievable complexity of the arrangements which are needed to produce (life), that intelligence must have been involved in getting these extraordinarily diverse elements to work together.  It’s the enormous complexity of the number of elements and the enormous subtlety of the ways they work together.  The meeting of these two parts at the right time by chance is simply minute.  It is all a matter of the enormous complexity by which the results were achieved, which looked to me like the work of intelligence.”  Page 74 – 75

Flew has seen the very same things I and many others have observed to convince him of the divine in all creation and life.  Flew has had many writing debates with Richard Dawkins whom he has had some admiration in his earlier days, but drew, and continues to draw distinctions in Dawkin’s selfish-gene school of thought.  He says:

“In my book Darwinian Evolution, I pointed out that natural selection dies not positively produce anything.  It only eliminates, or tends to eliminate, whatever is not competitive.  A variation does not need to bestow any actual competitive advantage in order to avoid elimination; it is sufficient that is does not burden its owner with any competitive disadvantage.  To choose a rather silly illustration, suppose I have useless wings tucked away under my suit coat, wings that are too weak to lift my frame off the ground.  Useless as they are, these wings to not enable me to escape predators or gather food.  But as long as they don’t make me more vulnerable to predators, I will probably survive to reproduce and pass on my wings to my descendants. Darwin’s mistake in drawing too positive an inference with his suggestion that natural selection produces something was perhaps due to his employment of the expressions ‘natural selection’ or ‘survival of the fittest’ rather than his own ultimately preferred alternative, ‘natural preservation.’” Page 78 – 79

He goes on and continues to skewer Dawkins by saying: “Richard Dawkin’s The Selfish Gene was a major exercise in popular mystification.” Page 79   He also states that: “Dawkins on the other hand, labored to discount or depreciate the upshot of fifty or more years’ work in genetics – the discovery that the observable traits of organisms are for the most part conditioned by the interactions of many genes, while most genes have manifold effects on many such traits.  For Dawkins, the main means for producing human behavior is to attribute to genes characteristics that can significantly be attributed only to persons. Then after insisting that we are all the choiceless creatures of our genes, he infers that we cannot help but share the unlovely personal characteristics of those all-controlling monads.”  Page 79 – 80

Dawkin’s premise is that we are merely robots created by our genes to house them and spread them and we are totally subject to the physical laws of genetics.  Flew makes a final deadly thrust at Dawkins when he says: “If any of this were true, it would be no use to go on, as Dawkins does, to preach: ‘Let us try to teach generosity and altruism, because we are born selfish.’ No eloquence can move programmed robots.  But in fact none if it is true – or even faintly sensible.  Genes, as we have seen, do not and cannot necessitate our conduct. Nor are they capable of the calculation and understanding required to plot a course of either ruthless selfishness or sacrificial compassion.”  Page 80

Anthony Flew also takes aim at dogmatic atheism and it’s misapplication of science when the atheists let preconceived theories shape the way they see the evidence rather than letting the evidence shape their theories. About this he says: “And in this, it seems to me, lies the peculiar danger, the endemic evil, of dogmatic atheism.  Take such utterances as ‘We should not ask for an explanation of how it is that the world exists; it is here and that is all’ or ‘Since we cannot accept a transcendent source of life, we choose to believe the impossible: that life arose spontaneously by chance from matter’, or ‘The laws of physics are ‘lawless laws’ that arise from the void – end of discussion.’  They look at first sight like rational arguments that have special authority because they have a no-nonsense air about them.  Of course, this is no more sign that they are either rational or arguments.” Page 86 – 87

He also takes umbrage at the continuing effort of dogmatic atheism and militant evolutionists as couching every argument as their “science” confronting our “philosophy, religion and non-science.      He states: “You might ask how I, a philosopher, could speak to issues treated by scientists. The best way to answer this is with another question.  Are we engaging in science or philosophy here?  When you study the interaction of two physical bodies, for instance, two subatomic particles, you are engaged in science.  When you ask how it is that those subatomic particles – oranything physical – could exist and why, you are engaged in philosophy.  When you draw philosophical conclusions from scientific data, then you are thinking as a philosopher.” Page 89

Flew says that the three domains of scientific inquiry that he as a philosopher feels are especially important are; how did the laws of nature come to be, how did life originate from non-life, and how did the universe (all that is physical) come into being and why.  It is in this domain that Flew is so devastating to the pretend philosophers of evolution and atheism.

He goes on to point out that the God Aristotle believe in as presented in David Conway’s book The Recovery of Wisdom: From Here to Antiquity in Quest of Sophia.  Conway says and Flew agrees: “In sum, to the Being whom he considered to be the explanation of the world and its broad form, Aristotle ascribed the following attributes: immutability, immateriality,   omnipotence, omniscience, oneness or indivisibility, perfect goodness and necessary existence.  There is an impressive correspondence between this set of attributes and those traditionally ascribed to God within the Judaeo-Christian tradition.  It is one that fully justifies us in viewing Aristotle as having had the same Divine Being in mind as the cause of the world that is the object of worship of these two religions.”

Anthony Flew had correctly perceived that the universe and life itself had to have a vast intelligent designer behind it as it was impossible to have been self caused or uncaused.  He looks further into the laws of the universe and the concept of the first cause of all we see.  He quotes the physicist Paul Davies: “in his Templeton address, Paul Davies makes the point that ‘science can proceed only if the scientist adopts an essentially theological worldview.’  Nobody asks where the laws of physics come from, but ‘even the most atheistic scientist accepts as an act of faith the existence of a lawlike order in nature that is at least in part incomprehensible to us.” Page 107

Davies in again quoted: “Science is based on the assumption that the universe is thoroughly rational and logical at all levels.’ Writes Paul Davies, arguably the most influential contemporary expositor of modern science. ‘Atheists claim that the laws (of nature) exist reasonlessly and that the universe is absurd.  As a scientist, I find this hard to accept.  There must be an unchanging rational ground in which the logical, orderly nature of the universe is rooted.” Page 111

Flew examines the finely tuned universe or the idea of a man centered universe called the anthropic universe.  It appears that the constants in the universe from the cosmic to the quantum are all finely tuned to cause life to occur.  It appears that the universe was waiting for us.  Flew says: “In his book Infinite Minds, John Leslie, a leading anthropic theorist, argues that the fine tuning is best explained by divine design.  He says that he is impressed not by particular arguments for instances of fine tuning, but by the fact that these arguments exist in such profusion. ‘If, then, there were aspects of nature’s workings that appeared every fortunate and also entirely fundamental,’ he writes, ‘then there might well be seen as evidence specially favoring belief in God.” Page 115

Many physicists have explored the idea of ultra high density physics of multi-verses in hyper dimensions that are truly speculative and very hard to prove. In fact another universe outside of our universe would by our technology and any technology we can envision impossible to examine  Very few physicists actually hold to this multi-verse idea with the exception of those who do not want to believe in a intelligent creator.  Physicist Davies weighs in again: “It is trivially true that, in an infinite universe, anything that can happen will happen.’ But this is not an explanation at all.  If we are trying to understand why the universe if bio-friendly, we are not helped by being told that all possible universes exist. ‘Like a blunderbuss, it explains everything and nothing.”  Page 118   Physicist Richard Swineburne rejects the multi-verse and says: “It is crazy to postulate a trillion (causally unconnected) universes to explain the features of one universe, when postulating one entity (God) will do the job.”  Page 119   Flew likens the argument to a child coming to his teacher and saying “The dog ate my homework.”  When the teacher indicates unbelief the child changes his story to” “A whole pack of dogs ate my homework.”  It is an answer waiting for a question as it will not answer any current questions.

Anthony Flew, as mentioned before also saw the idea of biological life and the complex coding necessary for that life to be an insurmountable problem with atheism and evolution.  He perceived through is incisive logic that the age of the universe and the current theories of abiogenesis left too little time for life to happen in the random way that it had to occur.  He states: “A far more important consideration is the philosophical challenge facing origin-of-life studies.  Most studies on the origin of life are carried out by scientists who rarely attend to the philosophical dimension of their findings.  Philosophers, on the other hand, have said little on the nature and origin of life.  The philosophical question that has not been answered in origin-of- life studies is this: How can a universe of mindless matter produce beings with intrinsic ends, self-replication capabilities, and ‘coded chemistry’?  Here we are not dealing with biology, but an entirely different category of problem.”  Page 124   Flew understood the deep issues.  It is not what the current abiogenesis study is and how maybe a few amino acids can be formed in a test tube, but why does life depend on the hyper complex code even at all and what does it point out in the big picture of causality. Most evolutionists are utterly lost in the details of this missing link or that whale vestigial foot or whatever they can club the creationist over the head with.  They never raise their head like Flew did, and look at the big picture this code points too. One of the issues Flew raises is that life is teleological in nature, it posses intrinsic ends, goals and purposes.  We are self aware, we think, we plan, we love, we are alive in a profound teleological way.  The very origin of this life presents profound problems for the scientist who doesn’t understand the philosophy inherent in his work.  Flew says: “The origin of self-reproduction is a second key problem.  Distinguished philosopher John Haldane notes that origin-of-life theories ‘do not provide sufficient explanation, since they presuppose the existence at an early stage of self-reproduction, and it has not been shown that this can arise by natural means from a material base.”  Page 125   It is the profound problem of the biological scientist who wants to adhere to the evolutionist philosophy.  If you cannot start out life by abiogenesis then the rest tends to fall down and become irrelevant.  George Wald a Nobel Prize winning physiologist once said: “we choose to believe the impossible: that life arose spontaneously by chance.”  But years later he changed his belief to a preexisting mind.  He said: “How is it that, with so many other apparent options, we are in a universe that possesses just that peculiar nexus of properties that breeds life?  It has occurred to me lately – I must confess with some shock at first to my scientific sensibilities – that both questions might be brought into some degree of congruence.  This is with the assumption that mind, rather than emerging as a late outgrowth in the evolution of life, has existed always as the matrix, the source and condition of physical reality – that the stuff of which physical reality is constructed is mind-stuff.  It is mind that has composed a physical universe that breeds life, and so eventually evolves creature that know and create: science, art and technology making creatures.”  Page 131 – 132.

Flew in his paper The Presumption of Atheism argued that we had to take the universe and its most fundamental laws as ultimate.  But you see this is the materialist trap, if all is material and there can be nothing that is not material then God a priori doesn’t exist.  It blocks out the possibility of something that can transcend that universe.  The idea of the infinite and unending universe was the cosmology of Flew’s early years and that view allowed plenty of time and energy for the atheistic views.  But is has been fairly well documented that the universe had a beginning and this had a profound impact on Antony Flew.  It reminded him of the first sentence in the Bible: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”  He stated that while the universe was assumed to be eternal and unending then it was the ultimate by brute fact.  But a beginning postulated another something the caused the beginning.  This presented a problem.  Cosmologist were also disturbed by this problem and presented many ideas that would allow them to retain their nontheist status quo.  We have previously looked at those attempts.  But suffice it to know that if one universe requires an explanation for a beginning then multiverses will also require multiple explanations as well.  One of the troubles is that science has a severe problem with the cause of the universe.  Swineburne arguing about the Humean idea of a beginningless series of nonnecessary existent beings, being the sufficient cause for the universe as a whole said: “The whole infinite series will have no explanation at all, for there will be no causes of members of the series lying outside the series.  In that case, the existence of the universe over infinite time will be an inexplicable brute fact. There will be an explanation (in terms of laws) of why, once existent, it continues to exist.  But what will be inexplicable is it existence at all throughout infinite time.  The existence of a complex physical universe over finite or infinite time is something ‘too big’ for science to explain.”  Page 141  So we see that the, now known, finite universe is not the brute fact and ultimate thing and it is also too big for science to explain and certainly they cannot explain away that nothing never creates something.

Anthony Flew in his publications argued that the concept of God was not coherent because it presupposed the idea of an incorporeal omnipresent being.  Again this is the materialist trap and Flew finally found his way out.  Theologians were busy with their answers.  They stated that a body is necessary for being to exist; the condition for a being to be an agent is to be simply capable of intentional action.  God is spoken as being a personal being; this is to talk of Him as an agent to intentional action.

God also dwelling outside of space and time was entirely consistent with the theory of special relativity.  Brian Leftow in his book Time and Eternity showed that God could be transcendent of the universe and went on to explore what He would be like.  It is these studies that showed Flew that an incorporeal spirit could exist and have an impact in our world.  He says: “At the very least, the studies and Tracy and Leftow show that idea of an omnipresent Spirit is not intrinsically incoherent if we see such a Spirit as an agent outside space and time that uniquely executed His intentions in the spatio-temporal continuum. The question of whether such a Spirit exists, as we have seen, lies at the heart of the arguments for God’s existence.”  Page 154

Flew made the transition from atheist to theist.  It was a path of simply following the evidence to where it leads.  He says: “Science qua science cannot furnish an argument for God’s existence.  But the three items of evidence we have considered in this volume – the laws nature, life with its teleological organization, and the existence of the universe – can only be explained in the light of an Intelligence that explains both its own existence and that of the world.  Such a discovery of the Divine does not come through experiments and equations, but through the understanding of the structures they unveil and map.”  Page 155   Flew was willing to learn more and connect with others in their thoughts and was open to new ideas.   He now believes in an infinitely intelligent mind that created the universe.  He knows many who have claimed to have contacted that mind and remains hopeful that that mind may contact him.  His final statement is: “I have not (contacted the mind) yet.  But who knows what could happen next?  Someday I might hear a Voice that says, ‘Can you hear me now?”

I have no doubt that Anthony Flew with his humility will soon hear that wonderful voice of the Lord who loves him.

Evan Wiggs

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Robert Jastrow on God and the Big Bang

 

 

Published on Jun 26, 2012

 

Henry “Fritz” Schaefer comments on a popular quote made by scientist Robert Jastrow. Jastrow (who Carl Sagan was too scared to debate) is an agnostic but believes that the Big Bang leaves room for the existence of God.

 

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Discussion (3 of 3): Antony Flew, N.T. Wright, and Gary Habermas

 

 

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William Lane Craig vs Peter Atkins: “Does God Exist?”, University of Manchester, October 2011

 

 

Published on Apr 10, 2012

 

This debate on “Does God Exist?” took place in front of a capacity audience at the University of Manchester (including an overspill room). It was recorded on Wednesday 26th October 2011 as part of the UK Reasonable Faith Tour with William Lane Craig.

William Lane Craig is Research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology, La Mirada, California and a leading philosopher of religion. Peter Atkins is former Professor of Chemistry at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Lincoln College.

The debate was chaired by Christopher Whitehead, Head of Chemistry School at the University. Post-debate discussion was moderated by Peter S Williams, Philosopher in Residence at the Damaris Trust, UK.

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Making Sense of Faith and Science

Uploaded on May 16, 2008

Dr. H. Fritz Schaefer confronts the assertion that one cannot believe in God and be a credible scientist. He explains that the theistic world view of Bacon, Kepler, Pascal, Boyle, Newton, Faraday and Maxwell was instrumental in the rise of modern science itself. Presented as part of the Let There be Light series. Series: Let There Be Light [5/2003] [Humanities] [Show ID: 7338]

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During the 1990′s I actually made it a practice to write famous atheists and scientists that were mentioned by Adrian Rogers and Francis Schaeffer and challenge them with the evidence for the Bible’s historicity and the claims of the gospel. Usually I would send them a cassette tape of Adrian Rogers’ messages “6 reasons I know […]

The Death of a (Former) Atheist — Antony Flew, 1923-2010 Antony Flew’s rejection of atheism is an encouragement, but his rejection of Christianity is a warning. Rejecting atheism is simply not enough, by Al Mohler

________________________________ Discussion (1 of 3): Antony Flew, N.T. Wright, and Gary Habermas Uploaded on Sep 22, 2010 A discussion with Antony Flew, N.T. Wright, and Gary Habermas. This was held at Westminster Chapel March, 2008 ______________________ During the 1990′s I actually made it a practice to write famous atheists and scientists that were mentioned by Adrian […]

By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis Schaeffer | Tagged  | Edit | Comments (0)

Antony Flew’s journey from Atheism to Theism

During the 1990′s I actually made it a practice to write famous atheists and scientists that were mentioned by Adrian Rogers and Francis Schaeffer and challenge them with the evidence for the Bible’s historicity and the claims of the gospel. Usually I would send them a cassette tape of Adrian Rogers’ messages “6 reasons I […]

Antony Flew, “I was particularly impressed with Gerry Schroeder’s point-by-point refutation of what I call the MONKEY THEOREM” or the “the possibility of life arising by chance using the analogy of a multitude of monkeys banging away on computer keyboards and eventually ending up writing a Shakespearean sonnet!”

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Discussion (1 of 3): Antony Flew, N.T. Wright, and Gary Habermas

Uploaded on Sep 22, 2010

A discussion with Antony Flew, N.T. Wright, and Gary Habermas. This was held at Westminster Chapel March, 2008

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Antony Flew, “I was particularly impressed with Gerry Schroeder’s point-by-point refutation of what I call the MONKEY THEOREM” or the “the possibility of life arising by chance using the analogy of a multitude of monkeys banging away on computer keyboards and eventually ending up writing a Shakespearean sonnet!”

Review of Antony Flew Book:

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antony flew yesterday

Antony Flew when he was having famous debates with creationists

Antony Flew Today

Antony Flew is the most famous atheist of the 20th century. Long before Richard Dawkins, Antony Flew was the face of reasoned atheism. He was the man that turned the argument around, saying that creationists needed to prove there is a God.
Anthony Flew became an atheist because he didn’t think the evidence supported the idea of God. His ruling principle was always to follow the argument no matter where it lead. In 2004 he became a deist because of the overwhelming evidence for intelligent design coming out of microbiology.

The following excerpt is from his recent book  [There is a God, pages 75-78]

I was particularly impressed with Gerry Schroeder’s point-by-point refutation of what I call the “monkey theorem.” This idea, which has been presented in a number of forms and variations, defends the possibility of life arising by chance using the analogy of a multitude of monkeys banging away on computer keyboards and eventually ending up writing a Shakespearean sonnet.

Schroeder first referred to an experiment conducted by the British National Council of Arts. A computer was placed in a cage with six monkeys. After one month of hammering away at it (as well is using it as a bathroom!), the monkeys produced fifty typed pages — but not a single word. Schroeder noted that this was the case even though the shortest word in the English language is one letter (a or I). A is a word only if there is a space on either side of it. If we take it that the keyboard has thirty characters (the twenty-six letters and other symbols), then the likelihood of getting a one-letter word is 30 times 30 times 30, which is 27,000. The likelihood of getting a one-letter word is one chance out of 27,000.

Schroeder then applied the probabilities to the sonnet analogy. “What’s the chance of getting a Shakespearean sonnet?” he asked. He continued:
All the sonnets are the same length. They are by definition fourteen lines long. I picked the one I knew the opening for, “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” I counted the number of letters; there are 488 letters in that sonnet. What’s the likelihood of hammering away and getting 488 letters in the exact sequence as in “Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day?”? What you end up with is 26 multiplied by itself 488 times — or 26 to the 488th power. Or, in other words, in base 10, 10 to the 690th.
[Now] the number of particles in the universe — not grains of sand, I’m talking about protons, electrons, and neutrons — is 10 to the 80th. Ten to the 80th is 1 with 80 zeros after it. Ten to the 690th is one with 690 zeros after it. There are not enough particles in the universe to write down the trials; you’d be off by a factor of 10 to the 600th.

If you took the entire universe and converted it to computer chips — forget the monkeys — each one weighing a millionth of a gram and had each computer chip able to spin out 488 trials at, say, a million times a second; if you turn the entire universe into these microcomputer chips and these chips were spinning a million times a second [producing] random letters, the number of trials you would get since the beginning of time would be 10 to the 90th trials. It would be off again by a factor of 10 to the 600th. You will never get a sonnet by chance. The universe would have to be 10 to the 600th times larger. Yet the world thinks the monkeys can do it every time.

After hearing Schroeder’s presentation, I told him that he had very satisfactorily and decisively established that the “monkey theorem” was a load of rubbish, and that it was particularly good to do it with just a sonnet; the theorem is sometimes proposed using the works of Shakespeare or single play, such as Hamlet. If the theorem won’t work for a single sonnet, then of course it’s simply absurd to suggest that the more elaborate feat of the origin of life could have been achieved by chance.

Is Goodness Without God is Good Enough? William Lane Craig vs. Paul Kurtz

Published on Jul 29, 2013

Date: October 24, 2001
Location: Franklin & Marshall College

Christian debater: William Lane Craig
Atheist/secular humanist debater: Paul Kurtz

For William Lane Craig: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/
For Paul Kurtz: http://paulkurtz.net/
To purchase this debate: http://apps.biola.edu/apologetics-sto…
To purchase a published version of this debate:http://apps.biola.edu/apologetics-sto…

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The Bible and Science (Part 01)

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Making Sense of Faith and Science

Uploaded on May 16, 2008

Dr. H. Fritz Schaefer confronts the assertion that one cannot believe in God and be a credible scientist. He explains that the theistic world view of Bacon, Kepler, Pascal, Boyle, Newton, Faraday and Maxwell was instrumental in the rise of modern science itself. Presented as part of the Let There be Light series. Series: Let There Be Light [5/2003] [Humanities] [Show ID: 7338]

________________

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Article from 2005 indicated Antony Flew abandoned atheism because of Law of Biogenesis!!!!

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Antony Flew, George Wald and David Noebel on the Origin of Life

In the below comment section David Noebel stated the following: Since writing my article on the origin of life I have read two books that basically make the same point and I will quote briefly from them, but encourage anyone interested in the subject to read both books from cover to cover: (1) John C. […]

The Fine Tuning Argument for the Existence of God from Antony Flew!

___________ The Fine Tuning Argument for the Existence of God from Antony Flew! Imagine entering a hotel room on your next vacation. The CD player on the bedside table is softly playing a track from your favorite recording. The framed print over the bed is identical to the image that hangs over the fireplace at […]

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Mark Oppenheimer of Time Magazine claims Antony Flew was convinced by PSEUDOSCIENCE that God exists!!!

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A review of “There is a God” by Antony Flew March 31, 2012

________ During the 1990′s I actually made it a practice to write famous atheists and scientists that were mentioned by Adrian Rogers and Francis Schaeffer and challenge them with the evidence for the Bible’s historicity and the claims of the gospel. Usually I would send them a cassette tape of Adrian Rogers’ messages “6 reasons I […]

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During the 1990′s I actually made it a practice to write famous atheists and scientists that were mentioned by Adrian Rogers and Francis Schaeffer and challenge them with the evidence for the Bible’s historicity and the claims of the gospel. Usually I would send them a cassette tape of Adrian Rogers’ messages “6 reasons I know […]

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By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis Schaeffer | Tagged  | Edit | Comments (0)

Antony Flew’s journey from Atheism to Theism

During the 1990′s I actually made it a practice to write famous atheists and scientists that were mentioned by Adrian Rogers and Francis Schaeffer and challenge them with the evidence for the Bible’s historicity and the claims of the gospel. Usually I would send them a cassette tape of Adrian Rogers’ messages “6 reasons I […]

Antony Flew answers the criticisms of Richard Dawkins in 2008!!!

Intelligent Design: Is It Viable? William Lane Craig vs. Francisco J. Ayala

Published on Nov 10, 2013

Date: November 5, 2009
Location: Indiana University

Christian/Intelligent Design proponent debater: William Lane Craig
Christian/Darwinist debater: Francisco J. Ayala

For William Lane Craig: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/
For Francisco Ayala: http://www.faculty.uci.edu/profile.cf…
To purchase this debate: http://apps.biola.edu/apologetics-sto…

_______________________________

Antony Flew answers the criticisms of Richard Dawkins in 2008!!!

There is a god

Professor Antony Flew reviews The God Delusion

Antony Flew

On 1st November 2007, Professor Antony Flew’s book There is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed his Mind was published by HarperOne. Professor Flew, who died in April 2010, has been called ‘the world’s most influential philosophical atheist’, as well as ‘one of the most renowned atheists of the 20th Century’ (see Peter S. Williams’ bethinking.org article “A change of mind for Antony Flew”). In There is a God, Professor Flew recounts how he came to believe in a Creator God as a result of the scientific evidence and philosophical argument.

Not surprisingly, his book caused quite a stir – as can be seen from the miscellaneous customer reviews on Amazon.co.uk. Some of those comments (and those elsewhere) implied that Flew was used by his co-author, Roy Varghese, and did not in fact know what was in the book. This is a serious charge to which Professor Flew responded and which he reiterated in a letter (dated 4th June 2008) to a friend of UCCF who has shown it to us. Professor Flew wrote:

I have rebutted these criticisms in the following statement: “My name is on the book and it represents exactly my opinions. I would not have a book issued in my name that I do not 100 per cent agree with. I needed someone to do the actual writing because I’m 84 and that was Roy Varghese’s role. The idea that someone manipulated me because I’m old is exactly wrong. I may be old but it is hard to manipulate me. That is my book and it represents my thinking.”

Professor Flew has written a forthright review of Richard Dawkins’ book The God Delusion. His article, reproduced below, shows Professor Flew’s key reasons for his belief in a Divine Intelligence. He also makes it clear in There is a God (page 213) that it is possible for an omnipotent being to choose to reveal himself to human beings, or to act in the world in other ways. Professor Flew’s article is offered here as testimony to the developing thinking of someone who is prepared to consider the evidence and follow its implications wherever it leads.

Professor Antony Flew wrote:

The God Delusion by the atheist writer Richard Dawkins, is remarkable in the first place for having achieved some sort of record by selling over a million copies. But what is much more remarkable than that economic achievement is that the contents – or rather lack of contents – of this book show Dawkins himself to have become what he and his fellow secularists typically believe to be an impossibility: namely, a secularist bigot. (Helpfully, my copy of The Oxford Dictionary defines a bigot as ‘an obstinate or intolerant adherent of a point of view’).

The fault of Dawkins as an academic (which he still was during the period in which he composed this book although he has since announced his intention to retire) was his scandalous and apparently deliberate refusal to present the doctrine which he appears to think he has refuted in its strongest form. Thus we find in his index five references to Einstein. They are to the mask of Einstein and Einstein on morality; on a personal God; on the purpose of life (the human situation and on how man is here for the sake of other men and above all for those on whose well-being our own happiness depends); and finally on Einstein’s religious views. But (I find it hard to write with restraint about this obscurantist refusal on the part of Dawkins) he makes no mention of Einstein’s most relevant report: namely, that the integrated complexity of the world of physics has led him to believe that there must be a Divine Intelligence behind it. (I myself think it obvious that if this argument is applicable to the world of physics then it must be hugely more powerful if it is applied to the immeasurably more complicated world of biology.)

Of course many physicists with the highest of reputations do not agree with Einstein in this matter. But an academic attacking some ideological position which s/he believes to be mistaken must of course attack that position in its strongest form. This Dawkins does not do in the case of Einstein and his failure is the crucial index of his insincerity of academic purpose and therefore warrants me in charging him with having become, what he has probably believed to be an impossibility, a secularist bigot.

On page 82 of The God Delusion is a remarkable note. It reads ‘We might be seeing something similar today in the over-publicised tergiversation of the philosopher Antony Flew, who announced in his old age that he had been converted to belief in some sort of deity (triggering a frenzy of eager repetition all around the Internet).’

What is important about this passage is not what Dawkins is saying about Flew but what he is showing here about Dawkins. For if he had had any interest in the truth of the matter of which he was making so much he would surely have brought himself to write me a letter of enquiry. (When I received a torrent of enquiries after an account of my conversion to Deism had been published in the quarterly of the Royal Institute of Philosophy I managed – I believe – eventually to reply to every letter.)

This whole business makes all too clear that Dawkins is not interested in the truth as such but is primarily concerned to discredit an ideological opponent by any available means. That would itself constitute sufficient reason for suspecting that the whole enterprise of The God Delusion was not, as it at least pretended to be, an attempt to discover and spread knowledge of the existence or non-existence of God but rather an attempt – an extremely successful one – to spread the author’s own convictions in this area.

A less important point which needs to be made in this piece is that although the index of The God Delusion notes six references to Deism it provides no definition of the word ‘deism’. This enables Dawkins in his references to Deism to suggest that Deists are a miscellany of believers in this and that. The truth, which Dawkins ought to have learned before this book went to the printers, is that Deists believe in the existence of a God but not the God of any revelation. In fact the first notable public appearance of the notion of Deism was in the American Revolution. The young man who drafted the Declaration of Independence and who later became President Jefferson was a Deist, as were several of the other founding fathers of that abidingly important institution, the United States.

In that monster footnote to what I am inclined to describe as a monster book – The God Delusion – Dawkins reproaches me for what he calls my ignominious decision to accept, in 2006, the Phillip E. Johnson Award for Liberty and Truth. The awarding Institution is Biola, The Bible Institute of Los Angeles. Dawkins does not say outright that his objection to my decision is that Biola is a specifically Christian institution. He obviously assumes (but refrains from actually saying) that this is incompatible with producing first class academic work in every department – not a thesis which would be acceptable in either my own university or Oxford or in Harvard.

In my time at Oxford, in the years immediately succeeding the second world war, Gilbert Ryle (then Waynflete Professor of Metaphysical Philosophy in the University of Oxford) published a hugely influential book The Concept of Mind. This book revealed by implication, but only by implication, that minds are not entities of a sort which could coherently be said to survive the death of those whose minds they were.

Ryle felt responsible for the smooth pursuit of philosophical teaching and the publication of the findings of philosophical research in the university and knew that, at that time, there would have been uproar if he had published his own conclusion that the very idea of a second life after death was self-contradictory and incoherent. He was content for me to do this at a later time and in another place. I told him that if I were ever invited to give one of the Gifford Lecture series my subject would beThe Logic of Mortality. When I was, I did and these Lectures were first published by Blackwell (Oxford) in 1987. They are still in print from Prometheus Books (Amherst, NY).

Finally, as to the suggestion that I have been used by Biola University. If the way I was welcomed by the students and the members of faculty whom I met on my short stay in Biola amounted to being used then I can only express my regret that at the age of 85 I cannot reasonably hope for another visit to this institution.

Note on Lord Gifford (Adam)
The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography describes Lord Gifford as ‘judge and benefactor’. He endowed lectureships at four Scottish universities ‘for promoting, advancing and diffusing natural theology, in the widest sense of that term, in other words the knowledge of God’ and ‘of the foundation of ethics.’ The first lectures were delivered in 1888.

© 2008 Antony Flew

bethinking.org

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Making Sense of Faith and Science

Uploaded on May 16, 2008

Dr. H. Fritz Schaefer confronts the assertion that one cannot believe in God and be a credible scientist. He explains that the theistic world view of Bacon, Kepler, Pascal, Boyle, Newton, Faraday and Maxwell was instrumental in the rise of modern science itself. Presented as part of the Let There be Light series. Series: Let There Be Light [5/2003] [Humanities] [Show ID: 7338]

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Antony Flew – World’s Most Famous Atheist Accepts Existence of God

Uploaded on Nov 28, 2008

Has Science Discovered God?

A half-century ago, in 1955, Professor Antony Flew set the agenda for modern atheism with his Theology and Falsification, a paper presented in a debate with C.S. Lewis. This work became the most widely reprinted philosophical publication of the last 50 years. Over the decades, he published more than 30 books attacking belief in God and debated a wide range of religious believers.

Then, in a 2004 Summit at New York University, Professor Flew announced that the discoveries of modern science have led him to the conclusion that the universe is indeed the creation of infinite Intelligence.

For More Info Visit:
http://ScienceFindsGod.com

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Antony Flew rightly noted that Richard Dawkins’ “monkey theorem was a load of rubbish”

________   Antony Flew rightly noted that Richard Dawkins’  ”monkey theorem was a load of rubbish.” Sunday, 9 September 2012 Why Richard Dawkins’ typing monkey theorem is a load of nonsense The infinite monkey theorem states that a monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter keyboard for an infinite amount of time will almost surely type a […]

Article from 2005 indicated Antony Flew abandoned atheism because of Law of Biogenesis!!!!

___________ Article from 2005 indicated Antony Flew abandoned atheism because of Law of Biogenesis!!!! Weighing the Evidence An Atheist Abandons Atheism By Chuck Colson|Published Date: January 10, 2005 Antony Flew, the 81-year-old British philosophy professor who taught at Oxford and other leading universities, became an atheist at age 15. Throughout his long career he argued […]

The Christian influence on society is real and that is one of the reasons Antony Flew left Atheism!!!

The Christian influence on society is real and that is one of the reasons Antony Flew left Atheism!!! Beggar to Beggar Saved by Increments By Chuck Colson|Published Date: January 11, 2005 A leading intellectual elaborates on why he abandoned atheism. But, surprisingly, he says his reasons were not entirely intellectual. British philosophy professor Dr. Antony […]

Antony Flew, George Wald and David Noebel on the Origin of Life

In the below comment section David Noebel stated the following: Since writing my article on the origin of life I have read two books that basically make the same point and I will quote briefly from them, but encourage anyone interested in the subject to read both books from cover to cover: (1) John C. […]

The Fine Tuning Argument for the Existence of God from Antony Flew!

___________ The Fine Tuning Argument for the Existence of God from Antony Flew! Imagine entering a hotel room on your next vacation. The CD player on the bedside table is softly playing a track from your favorite recording. The framed print over the bed is identical to the image that hangs over the fireplace at […]

By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Tagged  | Edit | Comments (0)

Mark Oppenheimer of Time Magazine claims Antony Flew was convinced by PSEUDOSCIENCE that God exists!!!

_____________ Mark Oppenheimer of Time Magazine claims Antony Flew was convinced by PSEUDOSCIENCE that God exists!!! Below you will read:  ”There Is a God” is perhaps the handiest primer ever written on the science (many would say pseudoscience) of religious belief. Regis Nicoll does a good job of refuting the claim that Flew was manipulated by […]

A review of “There is a God” by Antony Flew March 31, 2012

________ During the 1990′s I actually made it a practice to write famous atheists and scientists that were mentioned by Adrian Rogers and Francis Schaeffer and challenge them with the evidence for the Bible’s historicity and the claims of the gospel. Usually I would send them a cassette tape of Adrian Rogers’ messages “6 reasons I […]

Review of Antony Flew Book: THERE IS A GOD Article by R.C. Sproul May 2008

During the 1990′s I actually made it a practice to write famous atheists and scientists that were mentioned by Adrian Rogers and Francis Schaeffer and challenge them with the evidence for the Bible’s historicity and the claims of the gospel. Usually I would send them a cassette tape of Adrian Rogers’ messages “6 reasons I know […]

The Death of a (Former) Atheist — Antony Flew, 1923-2010 Antony Flew’s rejection of atheism is an encouragement, but his rejection of Christianity is a warning. Rejecting atheism is simply not enough, by Al Mohler

________________________________ Discussion (1 of 3): Antony Flew, N.T. Wright, and Gary Habermas Uploaded on Sep 22, 2010 A discussion with Antony Flew, N.T. Wright, and Gary Habermas. This was held at Westminster Chapel March, 2008 ______________________ During the 1990′s I actually made it a practice to write famous atheists and scientists that were mentioned by Adrian […]

By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis Schaeffer | Tagged  | Edit | Comments (0)

Antony Flew’s journey from Atheism to Theism

During the 1990′s I actually made it a practice to write famous atheists and scientists that were mentioned by Adrian Rogers and Francis Schaeffer and challenge them with the evidence for the Bible’s historicity and the claims of the gospel. Usually I would send them a cassette tape of Adrian Rogers’ messages “6 reasons I […]

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Is Richard Dawkins a secular bigot?

Is Richard Dawkins a secular bigot? Maybe the best person to address this was the famous atheist Antony Flew who left his atheism in 2004.

Flew Slams Dawkins… 
By Regis Nicoll|Published Date: August 25, 2008

…as a “secular bigot.”

After the world’s most influential atheist stunned the atheist community with his book There Is a God, and was accused of being a senescent scholar manipulated by cunning Christians, Antony Flew has come out swinging at Richard Dawkins and his book The God Delusion.

Writes Flew,

The fault of Dawkins as an academic (which he still was during the period in which he composed this book although he has since announced his intention to retire) was his scandalous and apparently deliberate refusal to present the doctrine which he appears to think he has refuted in its strongest form…and his failure is the crucial index of his insincerity of academic purpose and therefore warrants me in charging him with having become, what he has probably believed to be an impossibility, a secularist bigot.

After criticizing Dawkins for his unacademic approach, Flew turns to the author’s self-serving intentions:

This whole business makes all too clear that Dawkins is not interested in the truth as such but is primarily concerned to discredit an ideological opponent by any available means. That would itself constitute sufficient reason for suspecting that the whole enterprise of The God Delusion was not, as it at least pretended to be, an attempt to discover and spread knowledge of the existence or non-existence of God but rather an attempt,an extremely successful one, to spread the author’s own convictions in this area.

If that’s the result of mental senescence, I’ll look forward to a lump of it when I approach those octogenarian years.

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Does God Exist? Thomas Warren vs. Antony Flew

Published on Jan 2, 2014

Date: September 20-23, 1976
Location: North Texas State University

Christian debater: Thomas B. Warren
Atheist debater: Antony G.N. Flew

For Thomas Warren: http://www.warrenapologeticscenter.org/

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Antony Flew and his conversion to theism

Uploaded on Aug 12, 2011

Antony Flew, a well known spokesperson for atheism for several decades, changed his mind and turned from atheism to Deism. Professor Flew, who was Professor of Philosophy at the University of Reading, has given clear reasons why he made that transition. These reasons have been presented briefly in this compilation.

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The Bible and Science (Part 01)

Discussion (1 of 3): Antony Flew, N.T. Wright, and Gary Habermas

Uploaded on Sep 22, 2010

A discussion with Antony Flew, N.T. Wright, and Gary Habermas. This was held at Westminster Chapel March, 2008

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Moral Implications of Atheism – Kyle Butt

Quotes William Provine, Dan Barker, Charles Darwin,Peter Singer, James Rachels, Eric R. Pianka,  Richard Dawkins, and Sam Harris

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Ricky Gervais act outs atheist bewilderment and frustration in the face of nice Christian nonsense

Uploaded on Jan 20, 2010

Scene from Extras series one, “Kate Winslet”, in a conversation all atheists will recognise only too well.

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Is There a God? William Lane Craig vs Victor J. Stenger (University of Hawaii, 2003)

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115. Filosofia: Richard Dawkins Vs Alister McGrath

Published on Dec 21, 2012

Neste vídeo: Richard Dawkins Vs Alister McGrath
Curta nossa página no facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/multiversosp…

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At the 40 minute mark Richard Dawkins and Alister McGrath discuss Deena Burnett’s assertion that her husband Tom was an instrument carrying out God’s will in stopping the plane from hitting the White House.

Wikipedia noted:

United Airlines Flight 93[edit]

On September 11, 2001, while on board United Airlines Flight 93, Burnett sat next to passenger Mark Bingham. Burnett called his wife, Deena, after hijackers took control of the plane. During his second call to her, she relayed to him that the Towers of the World Trade Center had collapsed.[7] Upon learning of the situation, Deena, a former flight attendant, recalled her training and urged Burnett to sit quietly and not draw attention to himself, but Burnett instead informed her that he and three other passengers, Mark BinghamTodd Beamer and Jeremy Glick, were forming a plan to take the plane back from the hijackers, and leading other passengers in this effort.[5][6][8] He also told Deena not to worry.[9] Burnett and several other passengers stormed the cockpit, foiling the hijackers’ plan to crash the plane into the White House or Capitol Building,[5][10] and forced it to crash in a Pennsylvania field, killing all 44 people on board.[5][6]

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Let me make a few points here. I am told that Tom and Deena used to attend Fellowship Bible Church in Little Rock when they were visiting her parents in Little Rock. Deena actually grew up in a Southern Baptist Church like I did.  It is a common view in many evangelical circles that the problem of evil must be explained in light of the events of Genesis chapter 3 and the fall  of man. You can see this pointed out in the Evangelism Explosion leader’s guide written by Dr. D. James Kennedy. Francis Schaeffer and Ravi Zacharias  have written much on this subject too and some their work is below:

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So many tragic things happen in this world and many ask ” How can a good God allow evil and suffering?”

Their thinking is that either God is not powerful enough to prevent evil or else God is not good. He is often blamed for tragedy. “Where was God when I went through this, or when that happened.”  God is blamed for natural disasters, Even my insurance company describes them as “acts of God.” How to handle this one-  (O.N.E.)
a. Origin of evil— man’s choice- God created a perfect world…
b. Nature of God—He forgives, I John 1:9—He uses tragedy to bring us to Himself, C.S. Lewis, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains:  it is His megaphone to arouse a deaf world.”
c. End of it all—Bible teaches that God will one day put an end to all evil, and pain and death. “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.  There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Rev. 21:4).As Christians we have this hope of Heaven and eternity. Share how it has made a tremendous difference in your life and that you know for sure that when you die you are going to spend eternity in Heaven. Ask the person, “May I ask you a question? Do you have this hope? Do you know for certain that when you die you are going to Heaven, or is that something you would say you’re still working on?”How could a loving God send people to Hell?
(O.N.E.)
a. Origin of hell—never intended for people. Created for Satan and his demons. Jesus said, “Depart from Me, you cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matt 25:41). Man chooses to sin and ignore God. The penalty is death (eternal separation from God) and, yes, Hell. But God doesn’t send anyone to Hell, we choose it by refusing or ignoring God in attitude and action. b. Nature of God—“ God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). He is so loving that He sent His own Son to die and pay the penalty for our sin so that we could avoid Hell and have the assurance of Heaven. No one in Hell will be able to blame God. He doesn’t send people there, it’s our own choice. We must choose to repent, to stop ignoring God in attitude and action, accepting His salvation and yielding to His leadership.c. End of it all—Bible teaches that God will one day put an end to all evil, pain, death, and penalty of Hell. “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.  There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Rev. 21:4).As Christians , we need not worry about Hell. The Bible says, “these things have been written . . . so that you may know you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13).  I have complete confidence that when I die, I’m going to Heaven.  May I ask you a question?___________________________-

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In his article “A Conversation with an Atheist,” Rick Wade notes:

The problem of evil is a significant moral issue in the atheist’s arsenal. We talk about a God of goodness, but what we see around us is suffering, and a lot of it apparently unjustifiable. Stephanie said, “Disbelief in a personal, loving God as an explanation of the way the world works is reasonable–especially when one considers natural disasters that can’t be blamed on free will and sin.”{17}

One response to the problem of evil is that God sees our freedom to choose as a higher value than protecting people from harm; this is the freewill defense. Stephanie said, however, that natural disasters can’t be blamed on free will and sin. What about this? Is it true that natural disasters can’t be blamed on sin? I replied that they did come into existence because of sin (Genesis 3). We’re told in Romans 8 that creation will one day “be set free from its slavery to corruption,” that it “groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.” The Fall caused the problem, and, in the consummation of the ages, the problem will be fixed.

Second, I noted that on a naturalistic basis, it’s hard to even know what evil is. But the reality of God explains it. As theologian Henri Blocher said,

The sense of evil requires the God of the Bible. In a novel by Joseph Heller, “While rejecting belief in God, the characters in the story find themselves compelled to postulate his existence in order to have an adequate object for their moral indignation.” . . . When you raise this standard objection against God, to whom do you say it, other than this God? Without this God who is sovereign and good, what is the rationale of our complaints? Can we even tell what is evil? Perhaps the late John Lennon understood: “God is a concept by which we measure our pain,” he sang. Might we be coming to the point where the sense of evil is a proof of the existence of God?{18}

So,… if there is no God, there really is no problem of evil. Does the atheist ever find herself shaking her fist at the sky after some catastrophe and demanding an explanation? If there is no God, no one is listening.

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The Personal Origin of Man
The Scriptures tell us that the universe exists and has form and meaning because it was created purposefully by a personal Creator. This being the case, we see that, as we are personal, we are not something strange and out of line with an otherwise impersonal universe. Since we are made in the image of God, we are in line with God. There is continuity, in other words, between ourselves, though finite, and the infinite Creator who stands behind the universe as its Creator and its final source of meaning.
Unlike the evolutionary concept of an impersonal beginning plus time plus chance, the Bible gives an account of man’s origin as a finite person make in God’s image, that is, like God. We see then how man can have personality and dignity and value. Our uniqueness is guaranteed, something which is impossible in the materialistic system. If there is no qualitative distinction between man and other organic life (animals or plants), why should we feel greater concern over the death of a human being than over the death of a laboratory rat? Is man in the end any higher?
Though this is the logical end of the materialistic system, men and women still usually in practice assume that people have some real value. All the way back to the dawn of our investigations in history, we find that man is still man. Wherever we turn, to the caves of the Pyrenees, to the Sumerians in Mesopotamia, and even further back to Neanderthal man’s burying his dead in flower petals, it makes no difference: men everywhere show by their art and their accomplishments that they have been and have considered themselves to be unique. They were unique, and people today are unique. What is wrong is a world-view which fails to explain that uniqueness. All people are unique because they are made in the image of God.
The Bible tells us also, however, that man is flawed. We see this to be the case both within ourselves and in our societies throughout the world. People are noble and people are cruel; people have heights of moral achievement and depths of moral depravity.
But this is not simply an enigma, nor is it explained in terms of “the animal in man.” The Bible explains how man is flawed, without destroying the uniqueness and dignity of man. Man is evil and experiences the results of evil, not because man is non-man but because man is fallen and thus is abnormal.
This is the significance of the third chapter of Genesis. Some time after the original Creation (we do not know how long), man rebelled against God. Being made in the image of God as persons, Adam and Eve were able to make real choices. They had true creativity, not just in the area we call “art” but also in the area of choice. And they used this choice to turn from God as their true integration point. Their ability to choose would have been equally validated if they had chosen not to turn away from God, as their true integration point, but instead they used their choice to try to make themselves autonomous. In doing this, they were acting against the moral absolute of the universe, namely, God’s character – and thus evil among people was born.
The Fall brought not only moral evil but also the abnormality of (1) each person divided from himself or herself; (2) people divided from other people; (3) mankind divided from nature; and (4) nature divided from nature. This was the consequence of the choice made by Adam and Eve some time after the Creation. It was not any original deformity that made them choose in this way. God had not made them robots, and so they had real choice. It is man, therefore, and not God, who is responsible for evil.
We have to keep pointing out, because the idea is strange to a society by which the Bible has been neglected or distorted, that Christianity does not begin with a statement of Christ as Savior. That comes later in its proper setting. Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning God created….” Christianity begins with the personal and infinite God who is the Creator. It goes on to show that man is made in God’s image but then tells us that man is now fallen. It is the rebellion of man that has made the world abnormal. So there is a broken line as we look back to the creation of man by God. A chasm stands there near the beginning, the chasm which is the Fall, the choice to go against God and His Word.
What follows from this is that not everything that happens in the world is “natural.” Unlike modern materialistic thought on both sides of the Iron Curtain, Christianity does not see everything in history as equally “normal.” Because of the abnormality brought about by man, not everything which occurs in history should be there. Thus, not all that history brings forth is right just because it happens, and not all personal drives and motives are equally good. Here, then, is a marked difference between Christianity and almost all other philosophies. Most other philosophies do not have the concept of a present abnormality. Therefore, they hold that everything now is normal; things are now as they always have been.
By contrast, Christians do not see things as if they always have been this way. This is of immense importance in understanding evil in the world. It is possible for Christians to speak of things as absolutely wrong, for they are not original in human society. They are derived from the Fall; they are in that sense “abnormal.” It also means we can stand against what is wrong and cruel without standing against God, for He did not make the world as it now is.
This understanding of the chasm between what mankind and history are now and what they could have been – and should have been, from the way they were made – gives us a real moral framework for life, one which is compatible with our nature and aspirations. So there are “rules for life,’ like the signs on cliff tops which read: DANGER – KEEP OUT. The signs are there to help, not hinder us. God has put them there because to live in this way, according to His rules, is the way for both safety and fulfillment. The God who made us and knows what is for our best good is the same God who gives us His commands. When we break these, it is not only wrong, it is also not for our best good; it is not for our fulfillment as unique persons made in the image of God.

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  • Below is a transcript of the discussion between a student at Nottingham and Ravi Zacharias about evil and morality and it also discussed in the video clip above.

Student: There is too much evil in this world; therefore, there cannot be a God!
Speaker: Would you mind if I asked you something? You said, “God cannot exist because there is too much evil.” If there is such a thing as evil, aren’t you assuming that there is such a thing as good?
Student: I guess so.
Speaker: If there is such a thing as good, you must affirm a moral law on the basis of which to differentiate between good and evil.
Speaker: In a debate between the philosopher Frederick Copleston and the atheist Bertrand Russell, Copleston said, “Mr. Russell, you do believe in good and bad, don’t you?” Russell answered, “Yes, I do.” “How do you differentiate between good and bad?” challenged Copleston. Russell shrugged his shoulders and said, “On the basis of feeling – what else?” I must confess, Mr. Copleston was a kindlier gentleman than many others. The appropriate “logical kill” for the moment would have been, “Mr. Russell, in some cultures they love their neighbors; in other cultures they eat them, both on the basis of feeling. Do you have any preference?”
Speaker: When you say there is evil, aren’t you admitting there is good? When you accept the existence of goodness, you must affirm a moral law on the basis of which to differentiate between good and evil. But when you admit to a moral law, you must posit a moral lawgiver. That, however, is
who you are trying to disprove and not prove. For if there is no moral lawgiver, there is no moral law. If there is no moral law, there is no good. If there is no good, there is no evil. What, then, is your question?
Student: What, then, am I asking you?

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The Memphis Commercial Appeal reported on Sept 10:

When Deena Burnett Bailey spoke of the last time she heard her late husband’s voice, the rattle of silverware against china, the whispers and the general noise of a luncheon ceased.

Bailey is the widow of Tom E. Burnett, who led resistance efforts on United Flight 93 on Sept. 11, 2001.

Deena Burnett Bailey, widow of Tom Burnett who orchestrated the resistance against the terrorists aboard Flight 93, talks during the Salvation Army Women's Auxiliary's God Bless America Luncheon on Wednesday at the University of Memphis Holiday Inn.PHOTO BY JIM WEBER
BUY THIS PHOTO »Deena Burnett Bailey, widow of Tom Burnett who orchestrated the resistance against the terrorists aboard Flight 93, talks during the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary’s God Bless America Luncheon on Wednesday at the University of Memphis Holiday Inn.

The story of Burnett’s heroism is still a difficult one to tell, Bailey said, especially so close to the anniversary. But she wants to share it to inspire others, she said.

Bailey is the co-author of “Fighting Back: Living Life Beyond Ourselves,” a book about her husband and the others who took action against the terrorists who held the passengers hostage on Flight 93.

Bailey and former New York City police officer Jim Shepherd spoke Wednesday at a Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary luncheon.

Bailey, now remarried and living in Little Rock, was living in California on Sept. 11. She was waiting with their three daughters for her husband to return from a business trip.

As Bailey watched the two terrorist-controlled planes collide with the World Trade Center in New York, Burnett called and told her he was on a third plane that had been hijacked, and that the hijackers had “already knifed a guy.” He told her to call the authorities.

Bailey called 911 and was eventually connected with the FBI.

Her husband called again, asking questions about the World Trade Center, and then a third time to tell her passengers were hatching a plan to overtake the plane.

He called one last time to say the passengers were waiting until the plane was over a rural area before moving in on the hijackers. While everyone on the airplane was ultimately killed, no one on the ground was injured when Flight 93 went down.

Now, Burnett is honored as an American hero. Bailey says it’s a word her husband felt was overused. She says he believed in making good choices and making a difference in the lives of others.

“Tom’s last words to me were ‘Do something.’ They ring true for each of us to stand up, fight back, do something,” she said.

For Shepherd, who now lives in Memphis, the fateful day began as he drank coffee at the gym. He saw the first airplane circle but assumed it was out of its flight pattern and looking for an airport.

“At the last moment I thought, ‘Oh my God I hope he misses the buildings,’” Shepherd said.

By the time he reached his precinct, the second plane had hit the South Tower.

Later, rescuers found three stories of the building compacted into a pile only 12 feet high, with easily distinguishable layers of concrete floor, carpet and debris, he said.

Shepherd thanked the Salvation Army, which marched quietly into New York and got to work.

“You really felt like you weren’t alone,” he said. “You had another army behind you to help.”

Tom Burnett: A Hero on Flight 93 | An interview with Deena Burnett, author (with Anthony Giombetti) of Fighting Back: Defining Moments in the Life of an American Hero, Tom Burnett 

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Fighting Back is the timely and inspiring story of Thomas Burnett, the ringleader of the small group of courageous men that fought back against the terrorists on United Flight 93 on September 11, 2001, that crashed in the fields in Pennsylvania. His wife Deena tells about the incredible details ofthat horrific day, the now famous four cell phone calls her husband made to her from the plane, his quick assessment of the alarming suicidal flight plan, and his decision to “do something.” She tells about all that happened to her and her children in the days and months after that devastating day, and how the love, faith and strength of her departed husband helped her to fight back to find purpose and joy in her life again.

She also tells about Tom’s life story, showing how he was an ordinary American who was deeply patriotic, a very good athlete, a loving father and husband, a successful businessman, and a devout Catholic and daily communicant. This powerful book reveals the inspiring courage, character, faith and integrity that Tom Burnett showed in all the aspects of his life as a father, husband and businessman, and how his valor and leadership in that perilous plane were the result of how he lived his life every day. His story will strengthen and inspire all “ordinary” Americans, and Catholics, to imitate this man’s life of commitment to excellence, patriotism, devotion to family, and love of God. It is a story of suffering, sacrifice and of rebirth.

Carl E. Olson, editor of IgnatiusInsight.com, recently spoke with Deena Burnett about her late husband, the events of 9/11, and her faith in God.

IgnatiusInsight.com: When and how did you first decide to write Fighting Back?

Deena Burnett: I was approached right after Tom had died, and my first reaction was, “No, I don’t want to write anything.” But after a few months I realized that it would be important to write it down for my children. In January [of 2006], Anthony [Giombetti] and I got together and started writing. He would interview me and record the interviews, and then he would transcribe those interviews and then we would get together and edit it. That’s really when we started. And the idea was to chronicle Tom’s life and what had happened on September 11th, and talk about what he did and why he did it. In my mind, it was for my children, to record it, so that they would not forget. Then it evolved into something that I believe with inspire the reader to make a difference.

IgnatiusInsight.com: What do you hope readers will learn from reading the book?

Deena Burnett: Actually, just that; I hope that they are inspired to make a difference, that they see the value of having faith in God and know the importance of passing that faith on to their children.

IgnatiusInsight.com: A central theme of the book is that seemingly ordinary people can do extraordinary things. How did Tom exemplify that it in his ordinary life and in his extraordinary actions on Flight 93? 

Deena Burnett: I think that is found throughout the whole book. You certainly see that I try to stress that it wasn’t just what he did on September 11th, but that he lived his life with integrity, and I think that it was certainly his upbringing in the Faith that made him kind and attentive and concerned about other people. And I think that those are the values that he brought into the way that he lived, that helped him be a hero everyday of his life, and not just on September 11th.

 

Deena Burnett: Well, as early as the morning of September 11th, I was requesting to hear the cockpit voice recorder. I felt like it would just give me some answers as to what happened in those final moments. I didn’t know how to go about finding someone who could allow me to hear it. Anyone who had anything to do with the government, I’d just ask them, “Help me.” Very early on I met a lady, Ellen Tauscher, a representative from California, who really took me on as her project and helped me. She helped me go through the channels, writing the letters and making the phone calls and putting the pressure on different channels within the FBI and our government to release that cockpit voice recorder. I have told her so many times, “You know, Ellen, that you did this; it was you, but I’m getting all the credit for it.” And she would just laugh and say, “That’s okay, because I’m just here to help you.” She’s a great lady, absolutely a great lady. She guided me through the channels and made it happen.

We went to New Jersey in April 2002. We were allowed four family members, each family. We went in to hear it and I went through it twice. They had a transcript on the wall that we were able to see and read in sequence with hearing the audio. And I heard Tom’s voice for the first time in several months, and it gave me this incredible sense of peace that I had not expected to find through listening to it. And the peace came because, I think, for the first time in months I knew exactly what had happened by hearing the sounds and being able to visualize what he experienced. After that, it just gave me the energy and the strength to keep moving forward, to keep doing the things that needed to be done, in raising my family and making sure that those responsible for September 11th came to justice.

IgnatiusInsight.com: In the months following 9/11 you gave numerous interviews on high profile televisions programs and dealt with the media quite often. What is your impression, in general of the mainstream media, and how do you think they’ve handled coverage of 9/11 and its aftermath? 

Deena Burnett: I think that almost immediately the press was very respectful, and I was incredibly grateful for that. I initially was very afraid of the media. I kind of laugh about that now because I had a degree in journalism, and yet I was scared to death. But they were very respectful. One thing that I have found during the five years is that they have been very interested in different family members — any family members, it doesn’t matter who they are — who had something to do with September 11th, and they have created this aura of casting 9/11 family members as authorities on different issues, whether it be political issues, or issues dealing with the war on terrorism. Anything happening with our government having to do with immigration laws, the transportation department, or the war on terrorism, the first thing they do is pull a 9/11 family member away and start interviewing them: “What do you think?”

They have cast them in roles of authority, and I think that is odd, that there would be so much interest in the opinion of 9/11 family members. You know, we have this one experience to fall back upon; I’m sure there are people who are far better qualified than we are to answer most of the questions the media asks concerning these issues.

 

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Antony Flew rightly noted that Richard Dawkins’ “monkey theorem was a load of rubbish”

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William Lane Craig versus Eddie Tabash Debate

Uploaded on Feb 6, 2012

Secular Humanism versus Christianity, Lawyer versus Theologian. Evangelical Christian apologist William Lane Craig debates humanist atheist lawyer Eddie Tabash at Pepperdine University, February 8, 1999. Visit http://www.Infidels.org and http://www.WilliamLaneCraig.com

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Antony Flew on God and Atheism

Published on Feb 11, 2013

Lee Strobel interviews philosopher and scholar Antony Flew on his conversion from atheism to deism. Much of it has to do with intelligent design. Flew was considered one of the most influential and important thinker for atheism during his time before his death (he’s a much better thinker than Richard Dawkins too – even when he was an atheist). His conversion to God-belief has caused an uproar among atheists. They have done all they can to lessen the impact of his famous conversion by shamelessly suggesting he’s too old, senile and mentally deranged to understand logic and science anymore.

News on Antony Flew’s conversion:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1e4FU…

Interview and discussion with Antony Flew:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53REH…

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Kalam Cosmological Argument – Douglas Groothuis, PhD

Published on Jul 13, 2012

Doug Groothuis gives a lecture on the Kalam Cosmological Argument. What’s interesting about this lecture is that Groothuis did not accept the Kalam Cosmological Argument at first but was later convinced by it.

Notes:

http://www.relyonchrist.com/Lecture/1…
http://www.relyonchrist.com/Lecture/1…

Kalam Cosmological Argument

(Moreland, Scaling the Secular City; see also William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith [Crossway, 1994]; Paul Copan and William Lane Craig, Creation from Nothing [Baker, 2004]; William Lane Craig and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, God: A Debate Between a Christian and an Atheist [Oxford, 2004])

Preliminary: concepts of (a) the actual infinite and (b) the potential infinite

1. The universe had a beginning
2. The impossibility of the actual infinite (distinguish from potential infinite)
3. The impossibility of traversing an actual infinite (even if it exists); forming an actual infinite through successive addition, piece by piece…
4. Scientific confirmation from Big Bang cosmology (absolute origination). See also John Jefferson Davis, “Genesis 1:1 and Big Bang Cosmology,” in The Frontiers of Science and Faith (InterVarsity, 2002), 11 — 36; and Robert Jastrow, God and the Astronomers (revised ed., 1992).
5. Scientific confirmation from second law of thermodynamics.
6. Astronomer Fred Hoyle (who once advanced the steady state cosmology) argues against the universe being infinitely old in virtue of its hydrogen consumption. The argument can be stated as a modus tolens deduction (denying the consequent).
7. Can everything come from nothing without a cause? The “pop theory” (biting the metaphysical bullet)
8. Philosophical critique of everything from nothing…
9. God and time (see Greg Gansell, editor, God and Time: Four Views [InterVarsity, 2001])
10. Argument against an impersonal cause
11. Argument against God needing a cause (Bertrand Russell)
12. Quentin Smith’s acceptance of Big Bang cosmology and denial of God’s existence.
13. Unitary: Ockham’s razor
14. Incorrigible, inextinguishable (having existed, God cannot fail to exist)
15. Personal, volitional (“personal explanation”—R. Swinburne)
16. Omnipotent: nothing is a greater expenditure of power than exnihilating the entire cosmos. This is rational to hold, given the argument.
17. Supplies the necessary conditions for impeccable and omnipotent goodness: (1) – (4). Need (5) moral argument and (6) the Incarnation for the final necessary condition, which, with (1) – (4), make for necessary and sufficient conditions.

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Antony Flew rightly noted that Richard Dawkins’  “monkey theorem was a load of rubbish.”

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Why Richard Dawkins’ typing monkey theorem is a load of nonsense

The infinite monkey theorem states that a monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter keyboard for an infinite amount of time will almost surely type a given text, such as the complete works of William Shakespeare.

Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins employs the typing monkey concept in his book The Blind Watchmaker to demonstrate the ability of natural selection to produce biological complexity out of random mutations.

I have often heard this argument advanced by atheists in debates but in fact it does not survive deeper scrutiny.

Philosopher and former atheist Antony Flew, who became a theist in later life, explains how he changed his mind on whether the origin of life pointed to the activity of a creative Intelligence. It was in a debate in 2004 at New York University with Israeli scientist Gerald Schroeder that he announced he now accepted the existence of a God.

Flew explains his thinking in his book ‘There is a God’, which I finally got around to reading earlier this year. He argues on pp75-8 as follows:

‘I have embraced since the beginning of my philosophical life of following the argument no matter where it leads.

I was particularly impressed with Gerry Schroeders’s point-by-point refutation of what I call the “monkey theorem.” This idea, which has been presented in a number of forms and variations, defends the possibility of life arising by chance using the analogy of a multitude of monkeys banging away on computer keyboards and eventually ending up writing a Shakesparearean sonnet.

Schroeder first referred to an experiment conducted by the British National Council of Arts. A computer was placed in a cage with six monkeys. After one month of hammering away at it (as well as using it as a bathroom!), the monkeys produced fifty typed pages – but no a single word. Schroeder noted that this was the case even though the shortest work in the English language is one letter (a or I). A is a word only if there is a space on either side of it. If we take it that the keyboard has thirty characters (the 26 letters and other symbols), then the likelihood of getting a one-letter world is 30 x 30 x 30, which is 27,000. The likelihood of a getting a one-letter word is one chance of 27,000

Schroeder then applied the probabilities to the sonnet analogy. “What’s the chance of getting a Shakespearean sonnet?” he asked, He continued….

•All the sonnets are the same length. They’re by definition fourteen lines long. I picked the one I knew the opening line for, “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” I counted the number of letters; there are 488 letters in the sonnet. What’s the likelihood of hammering away and getting 488 letters in exact sequence as in “Shall I campare thee to a summer’s day? What you end up with is 26 multiplied by itself 488 times – or 26 to the 488th power. Or, in other words, in base 10,10 to the 690th.

•Now the number of particles in the universe – not grains of sand, I’m talking about protons, electrons, and neutrons – is 10 to the 80th . Ten to the 80th is 1 with 80 zeros after it. Ten to 690th is 1 with 690 zeros after it. There are not enough particles in the universe to write down the trials; you’d be off by a factor of 10 to the 600th.

•If you took the entire universe and converted it to computer chips – forget the monkeys – each one weighing a millionth of a gram and had each computer chip able to spin out 288 trials at, say, a million times a second; if you turn the entire universe into these microcomputer chips and these chips were spinning a million times a second (producing) random letters, the number of trials you would get since the beginning of time would be 10 to the 90th trials. It would be off again by a factor of 10 to the 600th. You will never get a sonnet by chance. The universe would have to be 10 to the 600th time larger. Yet the world just thinks monkeys can do it every time.

After hearing Schroeder’s presentation, I told him that he had very satisfactorily and decisively established that the ‘monkey theorem’ was a load of rubbish, and that it was particularly good to do it with just a sonnet; the theorem is sometimes proposed using the works of Shakespeare or a single play, such as Hamlet. If the theorem won’t work for a single sonnet, then of course it’s simply absurd to suggest that the more elaborate feat of the origin of life could have been achieved by chance.’

Posted by at 09:14

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